CZARINA (real name Vero Faye) has recently released her neon-hued, 80’s inspired track ‘Silence & Surrender’. But before launching a musical career, Vero Faye was a full time creative director and founder of the famed footwear and accessory brand, IVY KIRZHNER NEW YORK. With a design aesthetic true to her own notoriously unapologetic rock-n-roll persona, her footwear collection became a global success, with a long list of celebrity clientele including the likes of Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Kesha, Lily Collins, Cassie, Jamie Chung and Tori Kell.

Here we speak exclusively to CZARINA to discuss her bold career move, upcoming music, future plans and more:

So, when did you decide to pursue music after being a celeb fashion designer for so long?
The last time I performed and released a record was almost a decade ago, and I really missed it. For a long time, even though I enjoyed being a designer and I enjoyed doing that type of creative work, at the end of the day, it was still a form of business. And too often, the business aspect took a lot of priority over the artistry. I desperately needed another creative channel for unadulterated self-expression in order to grow and further develop as an artist. Music was the only other thing that could truly satisfy this particular need. I already know and understand business fully well. But I want the world to see me as an artist.  

How do you feel the creativity of both your passions tie-in to create your sound?
I like to fantasize that my listeners would also be wearing the shoes I create.  Whether I’m building a collection or working on a record, there’s storytelling involved.  Both are about introducing a new, unique perspective that’s conveyed thru tight, technical execution. My design work has always been cutting edge, and I’m all about offering something new and fresh but still relatable and covetable.  I like translating a lot of those concepts into sound when I’m doing music. In design, it’s about introducing a new texture or treatment.  Whereas in music, it’s about introducing a new soundscape and transporting the listener to a new place.  Yet both design and music should have the ability to stir the right emotions.    

Growing up, was music always your main passion, or was it fashion?
Though I was deeply tied into both, my fashion was dictated by what type of music I was listening to.  So, I would say, music was my main passion.  It was the source of all culture for me.   

How did you get into designing?
I’m very proud to say I belong to a family of talented, accomplished artists and designers.  My dad is an architect and my older sisters are both fashion designers. I also have an uncle who is a couturier.  I always knew that as a career path, I was going to pursue something somewhere between fashion and architecture. I figured early on to save music as my ultimate artistic and creative passion project. So, I chose to pursue shoe design and went to Fashion Institute of Technology.   

Are you still working as a celeb fashion designer, or are you completely music focused now? 
I recently took a break from design to recalibrate myself and allow some time to reengage myself with music.  However, I am making plans on relaunching my design career and shoe label some time in the near future. 

Who are your musical influences?
 I grew up listening to a lot of progressive and industrial music, like TOOL and Nine Inch Nails. But I love retro vibes, especially musicians like Siousxie Sioux, Annie Lennox, Heart, Joan Jett and Debby Harry.  These days, I listen to a lot of synth artists like Kavinsky, Vangelis, and several Outrun and Synthwave playlists. 

How would you describe your own sound to new listeners?
CMy music is synthwave pop / electronic rock.  It is 80s tech noir meets the future, which is now.  So, imagine I’m a pop star from the era of what movies like Blade Runner and Total Recall were about. I’d like to describe my sound as being very lush, moody and cinematic.  It is progressive and modern, yet still catchy with clever hooks. 

Your debut single is out now, what is the inspiration behind the track?
“Silence & Surrender” was inspired by the time I decided to answer a calling to change, which was an outcome of several challenges I had to face recently.  The song talks about the power of surrendering and letting go of control.  Even though I gave it some sensual undertones, the song is about a broader awakening and how we are sometimes only left with faith to help carry us through all conditions.   

Do you have any touring plans lined up?
Yes, I am currently charting all my regional shows this season and a tour upon the release of my EP this fall. 

What are your long-term career plans? 
I will most likely be focusing on both music and design congruently.  I figured to be successful and creatively fulfilled, I have to do both.  I want to release more singles, EPs, records, music videos and do more touring and live shows, while designing and building shoe collections in between.  I won’t be able to complain once I achieve and balance that.

Make sure you follow CZARINA on Twitter @CZARINAnyc to keep up to date with all her latest music and tour news!

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Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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